Sneak Preview: FWS Aims To Develop Uniform Performance Report

March 15, 2018 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xgran_bookshot(The following was excerpted from a recent article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) The Department of the Interior Office of Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) plans to work with state agencies to develop a standardized performance report that will comply with the Office of Management and Budget’s uniform guidance and will help its FWS’ Wildlife and Sport Fish Recreation (WSFR) officials better oversee award programs, in response to a recent recommendation from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

FWS awarded $1.5 billion in grants in federal fiscal year (FY) 2016, which represented about half of the agency’s budget. FWS awards both formula grants and competitive grants. Within FWS, WSFR officials manage the Wildlife Restoration Program and the Sport Fish Restoration Program formula grants, as well as the following competitive grant programs: the Boating Infrastructure Tier 2, the Clean Vessel Act, the Competitive State Wildlife, the Multistate Conservation and the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation grant programs.

Although GAO found that grants under the five competitive WSFR programs it reviewed were awarded in a manner consistent with provisions under the uniform guidance, it found concerns with how the agency monitors its awards. WSFR monitors its competitive grants by reviewing financial and performance reports submitted by grant recipients. Although GAO determined that WSFR’s monitoring process was consistent with relevant regulations, some recipient performance reports that GAO reviewed were missing required information. Specifically, for FY 2015 grants, financial and performance reports were generally submitted on time by grant recipients, but nine out of 51 performance reports that GAO reviewed did not include a comparison of actual accomplishments to the goals of the grant, as required by regulations (§200.328(b)(2)).

For example, one performance report stated that “no activities had occurred” under the grant, but it did not specify what the goals of the grant were or why no progress had been made, GAO found. Additionally, two annual performance reports for another grant described the goals of the grant and said they had not been met, but did not provide information as to why.

In addition, GAO also determined that WSFR does not have a standardized template for grant recipients to follow in preparing performance reports for most of its grant programs, and the template used by one of its regions does not clearly ask for all required information. Although WSFR officials told GAO that they planned to develop a more standardized reporting process, they had not established a timeline for doing so.

(The full version of this story has now been made available to all for a limited time on Thompson’s Grants Compliance Expert site.)

As a reminder, we have all of our Federal Funding Training Forums scheduled for 2018. Please let me know if you have questions or can make any of these. We hope to see you there!

  • Monday April 16 – Wednesday April 18 in WASHINGTON, D.C.

http://www.federalgrantsforum.com/dc/index.html?src=JMR

  • Wednesday May 1 – Friday May 4 in ST LOUIS

http://www.federalgrantsforum.com/stlouis/index.html?src=AT

  • Wednesday July 25 – Friday July 27 in MINNEAPOLIS

http://www.federalgrantsforum.com/minneapolis/index.html?src=AT

  • Wednesday October 17 – Friday October 19 in ATLANTA

http://www.federalgrantsforum.com/atlanta/index.html?src=AT

 

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